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02/2015 Books in Books


The digital revolution does not stop in front of children’s rooms and young readers are no longer merely leafing through books but increasingly surfing the net, chatting and tweeting with their smartphones, and playing with game consoles: The variety of media geared towards children and adolescents has been growing so exponentially that books have long lost their role as key medium. In light of these changes, the last years have seen the emergence of a literary counter movement that puts the book as literary medium back in centre position in a nearly glorifying manner: Current children’s media is teeming with magical books and libraries full of forgotten lore.   

This phenomenon is at the centre of the current interjuli: Alongside Hiloko Kato using Jörg Müller’s Das BuchimBuchimBuch (i.e. The Book in the Book in the Book) as an example, we remember books’ materiality. Angela Sommer-Bodenburg’s Little Vampire (Der kleine Vampir) is put into focus in Niels Penke’s analysis of intertextuality, literary commentary and reading socialization, while Erica Hateley demonstrates historical differences and similarities in the negotiation of books and literature production in educational books for children. Using Harry Potter and other school novels as examples, Maxi Steinbrück furthermore exemplifies different models of (institutional) education in children’s literature. 

We are particularly happy to welcome back our former colleague Christine Lötscher in her interview with Ingrid Tomkowiak, in which she shares the findings of her research on magic books and critically discusses the strong recurrence of (fantastical) books in current children’s media. Meanwhile, Helene Ehriander introduces the innovative project “Book Dog and Astrid Lindgren” that helps children with difficulties in reading and lays the seed for their enjoyment of      literature with the help of book dogs. 



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